Privacy Policy

This policy describes how - "Civically" for short - collects and uses data about you.

Jump to:

What is Civically?

Civically is an online platform for civic engagement and public services. You can learn more about what we do on our About Page.

How does Civically collect data about me?

Civically collects data about you:

  • when you browse Civically

  • when you create and use an account on Civically

  • when you post, send private messages, and otherwise participate in Civically

Civically does not buy or otherwise receive data about you from data brokers.

What data does Civically collect about me, and why?

Civically collects data about visits to forums.

When you visit Civically, whether you have an account or not, the forum uses cookies, server logs, and other methods to collect data about what pages you visit and when.

Civically uses data about how you use the website to:

  • optimize the forum, so that it’s quick and easy to use

  • diagnose and debug technical errors

  • defend the forum from abuse and technical attacks

  • compile statistics on forum and topic popularity

  • compile statistics on the kinds of software and computers visitors use

Civically usually stores data about how you use the forum in identifiable form for just a few weeks. In special circumstances, like extended investigations about technical attacks, Civically may preserve log data longer, for analysis.

Civically collects account data.

Many features of Civically require a forum account. For example, Civically requires an account to post and reply to topics.

To sign up for a forum account, Civically requires your name, a user name, and an e-mail address.

Civically uses your account data to identify you on the forum, and to create pages specific to you, like your profile page. Civically is public, so some of your account data is published on the internet.

Civically uses your e-mail address to:

  • notify you about posts and other activity on the forum

  • reset your password and help keep your account secure

  • contact you in special circumstances related to your account

  • contact you about legal requests, like DMCA takedown requests

You may provide additional data for your account, like a short biography, your location, or your birthday, on the profile settings page for your account. Civically makes that data available to others who can access the forum. You don’t have to provide this additional information, and you can erase it at any time.

Civically stores your account data as long as your account remains open.

Civically collects data about posts and other activity on the forum.

Civically collects the content of your posts, plus data about bookmarks, likes, and links you follow in order to share that data with others, through the forum. Civically publishes your activity.

Civically also collects data about private messages that you send through the forum. Civically makes private messages available to senders and their recipients, and also to forum administrators.

Civically stores your posts and other activity as long as your account remains open.

How can I make choices about data collection?

You can make choices about how data about you is used on the settings page for your account. When a forum uses access restrictions that vary by category, you can choose who will see your post by choosing the appropriate category.

Civically does not respond to the Do Not Track HTTP header.

Where does Civically store data about me?

Civically stores your data on Digital Ocean's servers in New York.

Does Civically comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Civically respects privacy rights under Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information that GDPR requires Civically to give can be found throughout this privacy notice. So can information about specific rights, like access, rectification, erasure, data portability, and objection to automated decision-making.

Where can I access data about me?

You can see your account data at any time by visiting your account page on the forum. Your account page also lists your posts and other activity on the forum.

Your account activity page also includes a link to download all of your activity in standard comma-separated values format.

How can I change or erase data about me?

You can change your account data at any time by visiting the profile settings page for your account. The settings for a particular forum may also allow you to close your account, on the settings page for your account. Closing your account starts a process of erasing or anonymizing Civically's records of data you provided for your account. Forum administrators can also erase and anonymize accounts.

Depending on the settings for your particular forum, you may also be able to edit, anonymize, or erase your posts. When you edit posts, Civically's will keep all versions of your posts. Forum administrators can view old versions of posts, and optionally make them visible to other forum visitors.

Does Civically make automated decisions based on data about me?

Civically uses data about posts and activity to set trust levels automatically.

Depending on how administrators of your forum configure the forum, the forum may use data about your posts and activity to award you badges and calculate a trust level for your account. Your trust level may affect how you can participate in the forum, such as whether you can upload images, as well as give you access to moderation and management powers in the forum. Your trust level therefore reflects forum administrators’ confidence in you, and their willingness to delegate community management functions, like moderation.

If you think your trust level has been set incorrectly, contact an administrator of your forum. They can manually adjust the trust level of your account.

Does Civically share data about me with others?

Civically shares account data with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

Civically shares data about your posts and other forum activity with others as mentioned in the section about account data.

Civically does not sell or give information about you to other companies or services. However, Civically does use services from other companies. The companies behind those services may collect data about you on their own, for their own purposes. Some of these services may be used to collect information about your online activities across different websites.

Service Privacy Notice Description
Digital Ocean Hosts Civically and stores backups.
KeyCDN Provides a content delivery network.

Other individuals and companies may also reuse data about you that Civically publishes, such as your posts to public forums.

How can I contact Civically about privacy?

You can send questions and complaints to:

For complaints under the GDPR, European Union users may lodge complaints with their local data protection supervisory authorities.

How can I find out about changes?

This version of Civically privacy notice took effect July 3, 2018.

Civically will post the next version at Civically may change how it announces changes in future versions.

In the meantime, Civically may update its contact information without announcing a change. Please refer to for the latest contact information at any time.